I was reading the other day in one of my many "what the hell is going on with this baby" books that long about the 7-8 month mark children begin to identify themselves as a separate being from their mommies. They begin to see themselves as individuals.
The book does not, however, indicate when mommies reach that particular developmental milestone. Not that I am worried about me. I fully recognize that Bean and I are not the same person. I, for one, can get cheerios into my mouth without stockpiling several thousand in the fat creases of my thighs; I can indicate a desire without screaming at the top of my lungs (although, I will concede that sometimes the tactic is very handy); I am an extremely capable napper; and I can extract my own nose goblins and do so willingly. Bean?
Yeah... not so much.
Perhaps it is because Bean is a boy that I am capable of this recognition so early in his life. I mean, the "little member" is a dead giveaway. I say this, because my mother (Chicken Little) continues to labor under the delusion that we are exactly the same person. Yes, we look (facially) remarkably alike and speak and gesture almost identically (it has been called "freakish" on more than one occasion)... but last I checked, yep... still two different people.
For the most part, it is only mildly irritating, this developmental block of my mother's. According to her, we have the same tastes and needs in everything. Nevermind the fact that she is 27 years older than me. If she likes it, I must like it. If her doctor is concerned about it, why isn't my doctor concerned about it. I must want to work full-time, because she did. This is how I did it when you were young... and on and on and on. Up until Bean, this situation was the single biggest contributor to our once-a-day phone habit. She knows that it bothers me... but she often uses it against me in my weakest moments.
For example, about 2 months post-bean I was at an all-time personal low... feeling really bad about my weight and general doughboy-like appearance. I was tired of wearing anything that I had worn during pregnancy and may have worn the same pair of PJ bottoms for any number of days (but there exists no proof of this). She offered, during a visit, to take me shopping for clothes, new clothes, that would flatter my "in-between" stage.
[NOTE: I am a clothes junkie and you can think of my mom as the "pusher-man"... she feeds the habit as a sign of her love for me. I have no interest in breaking my habit. It is totally manageable (despite what N. might say) and does not get in the way of my everyday life, mostly. With the exception of the work hours spent trolling online shopping sites... but I am not sure that counts.]
I should have seen this as an obvious opportunity for my mother to "momify" my wardrobe, which she believes to be to "young" for an almost 30-year old* mother of one. Particularly, my commitment, dare we say, religious devotion to low-slung pants. Not hip-huggers or the scandalously low cut jeans preferred by hookers and semi-talented teeny bopper pop-stars... just low-cut, hip-grazing pants. My mother prefers a style that is, well, a little higher. And that works for her, she is over 50 and she has a figure that can support higher waist pants... namely hips. I, however, am the same width front to back as I am side to side -- like a column, or a 14-year old girl, or my father. This is largely the reason that Bean's head came out looking like the business end of a torpedo.
So, after three hours of shopping and at least two pitiful fitting room breakdowns... I came home with five pairs of new pants, suitable for work or play. At the time, I was grateful --pants that fit that weren't PJ bottoms and didn't have "panels". But now, as I am still trying to kick off the last 8 lbs... I realize that these pants look horrible on me. They are, at best, unflattering, and, at worst, capable of landing me on "What not to Wear" in that horrible mirrored room. [BTW, BBC version so rocks the TLC-version]
I am all legs, crotch and armpits, my torso is GONE. The only redeeming factor of these pants is that my legs look freakishly long. So if I could simply hide my upper-half behind a dutch door, all would be fine. And as if adding insult to injury... they make my gut look practically with child from the side.
I addressed this issue yesterday with my mother while bemoaning the fact that I don't have anything to wear. I told her that I looked like some kind of reject from the Ed Grimley School of Style... Her response:
"Well, I bought the same pair of pants and they look great on me, so you must be wrong. Perhaps you just need to lose the rest of the weight. Besides, you are too old to wear those low-rider pants anyway... You know, I stopped wearing hip-huggers before my 25th birthday."
OK, sure. So, 57 years and counting.
* 30th Birthday... T-minus 29 days. Tick-tock.